Friday, September 24, 2010

Criminalizing the Mentally Ill

Author Pete Early discusses the criminalization of mental illness in his new book: "Crazy: A Father's Search Through America's Mental Health Madness."

When the author's mentally ill son was arrested for breaking and entering, Mr. Early began a quest to examine how mentally ill individuals are treated by America's justice system.

"I discovered what happened to my son was not a freak occurrence. Right now, as we’re talking, you’ve got 365,000 people with bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, major depression in jails and prison. You’ve got a half-million on probation, you’ve got a million going through the criminal justice system every year, and the largest public mental facility is not a hospital; it’s the Los Angeles County Jail.

Read more about his discoveries in this interview with the Texas Tribune.

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Friday, September 10, 2010


I came across this website on Twitter. Resolana is a community based non-profit organization that provides "holistic, gender-sensitive rehab programs" to women at the Dallas County Jail. I encourage you to visit their website:

Be sure to look at their art exhibit and watch the video showing the programing offered by this innovative group. Some great ideas here for those in ministry and aftercare!

By the way "resolana" is Spanish for warming wall, the sunny side of a building or plaza, a protected place where the warmth absorbed by the adobe walls draws people to gather together and talk.

I'm so impressed with your program. Way to go!
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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Mentally Disabled Woman To Be Executed

A borderline mentally retarded woman is scheduled to be executed this month in Virginia. She is the first woman in almost 100 years to be executed in the state. Theresa Lewis was convicted of hiring two men to murder her husband and stepson in 2002. She pleaded guilty to the charges.

Since her conviction, there have been questions about the extent of her involvement in the crime and whether she was the one responsible for planning the murders or whether she was the victim of manipulation by the gunmen. Theresa's current attorney stated her original defense team neglected to present evidence of her disability and drug dependence at her trial. The men who carried out the murders were given life sentences. Theresa got the death penalty.

Read more of this story at:

Please pray for Theresa, her attorney and all involved in her appeal.

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For more information on women and the US prison system visit:

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Prison Rape, The Alarming Statistics

The Bureau of Justice Statistics recently released a report on the incidence of inmate sexual assault in U. S. prisons and jails. Here are some of the findings:

  • In the past year, an estimated 88,500 adult prisoners were sexually abused.
  • This number represents 4.4 percent of prison inmates and 3.1 percent of jail inmates.
  • Staff to inmate sexual misconduct was higher than inmate to inmate sexual assaults.
  • Female inmates were more than twice as likely as males to report incidents of sexual abuse.

The report, Sexual Victimization in Prisons and Jails Reported by Inmates, 2008-09 (NCJ 231169), was written by BJS statisticians Allen J. Beck and Paige M. Harrison and RTI International staff Marcus Berzofsky, Rachel Caspar, and Christopher Krebs.

View the full report at:

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Back to The Women Of Block 12: Voices From A Jail Ministry

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